BCM 215

“Game Changers” Podcast Part 1
– Week 2 BP

Game Changers Podcast

Jack: Hi, I’m Jack Daniels. You’re listening to ‘Game Changers’, the podcast for electronic gamers. Our guest is Dr Adrian Lam, a Sociology lecturer specialising in electronic gaming.  He’s here to talk about Grand Theft Auto’s San Andreas. Welcome, Dr Lam. 
Dr Lam: Thanks for inviting me on the show Jack. 
 
Jack: So, Dr Lam, tell us about San Andreas 
Dr Lam: GTA San Andreas – Rockstar’s seventh in the series – was released in 2004. It was a big hit. By 2011 it had sold 28 million copies across all platforms. It was available on PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows and Xbox.
 
Jack: What’s San Andreas about?
Dr Lam: The story centres on Carl Johnson, an ex-gang banger framed by corrupt police for killing a cop. He’s forced back into his gangster life. He goes on an action-adventure across San Andreas. He wants to solve his mother’s murder and clear his name. 

Jack: Sounds like quite a ride!
Dr Lam: Sure is. The plot is based on the crack epidemic and gang wars in Los Angeles in the early ‘90’s. It’s also based on the police corruption and race riots that took place there.

Jack: What about the gameplay and technology?
Dr Lam: San Andreas is 12 hours long and features RPG – role-playing game mechanics. It’s set in an open world environment. Players can interact with and explore this at their leisure. There’s plenty of action. Characters run, fight, shoot and hide. They can drive many different vehicles – fast of course.
 
Jack: How about action control and graphic design quality? 
Dr Lam: PlayStation and Xbox players use a controller. Microsoft Windows players use their device keyboards. The graphic quality is good given the technology back then.
 
 
Jack: It sounds interesting, is there anything you don’t like about the game? 
Dr Lam: The game is all about crime: dangerous driving, drug dealing, gang and gun violence. There’s offensive language and racial stereotypes. Women are portrayed as sex objects.  
However, on the positive side, San Andreas shows the gang members’ human side – their friendships and goals.
 If you’re over 21 San Andreas is definitely worth a try.
 
Jack: Thank you, Dr Lam, for sharing your experience.
Dr Lam: My pleasure Jack.

“Game Changers” Podcast Part 2
– Week 3 BP

Jack: Hi, I’m Jack Daniels. Welcome to “Game Changers” – the podcast for electronic gamers. Today our guest is James LeBron – a gaming YouTuber with 40 million followers. James is here to talk about the world’s worst digital game. Welcome, James.
 
James: Thanks, Jack.
 
Jack: So, James, what game do you think is the worst you’ve ever played?
 
James: WWE 2K20 – definitely. I’m sure many gamers out there will agree. 
 
Jack: Tell us a bit about the game?
 
James: WWE 2K20 is a digital wrestling game based on the popular sports program, World Wrestling Entertainment. It was developed by Visual Concepts, published by 2K Sports, and released in October 2019. It was available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows. But it died out 3 months after its release. 
 
Jack: Really? Why’s that?

James: WWE 2K20 was slammed by reviewers. It failed because it didn’t include the latest 5G technology. The stage performance was riddled with bugs and glitches. The graphics distorted the characters’ faces. Their bodies were broken up. The plot was slow and boring. 
 
Jack: Not good. How about action control and the smoothness of the game?
 
James: The online mode was unplayable. There was no feature for costume change. It was impossible to control the character and play cooperatively with another gamer. It took a long time to boot up and load the matches. The only way to play this game smoothly was offline – by yourself.  
 
Jack: That sounds pretty bad. Any other reasons the game didn’t last? 
 
James: The market is saturated with digital games. Players do bulk research before buying. WWE 2K20 cost $60. Nobody is going to risk that kind of money on a badly reviewed game.
 
Jack: Any other factors contribute to the game’s death? 
 
James: The game was released during the economic downturn over Britain leaving the EU and the trade problems between the USA and China. Even so, the video game industry grew by 4%. So, there was no economic excuse for the game’s failure.
 
Jack: What about Covid?
 
James: When Covid hit in 2020 people lost their jobs and spent less. But even if times are good, no sane person is going to buy a bad game. Anyway, the video game industry grew by 9% as people were in lockdown. WWE 2K20 was a critical and commercial flop due to its poor technology and nothing else.
 
Jack: Thank you, James, for sharing your experience.
 
James: My pleasure Jack.
 
 
Reference:
Aguilar, M 2019, “WWE 2K20 Adds Women to Career Mode for First Time Ever”, commicbook, viewed 19 August 2021, <https://comicbook.com/gaming/news/wwe-2k20-introduces-women-mycareer-mode-first-time-ever/&gt;
 
Crappy Games Wiki, 2019, WWE 2K20, Crappy Game Wiki, viewed 20 August 2021, <https://crappygames.miraheze.org/wiki/WWE_2K20&gt;
 
Chris Moore, 2020, BCM215 Game Media Industries – Media Archaeology, online video, 5 February, Chris Moore, viewed 10 August 2021, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJa2mh4xEJs>&nbsp;
 
Weyer, M 2020, “10 Reasons WWE 2K20 Was So Bad”, The Sportster, 9 September, viewed 19 August 2021, <https://www.thesportster.com/wrestling/wwe-2k20-worst-aspects/&gt;
 
Richter, F 2021, “COVID-19 has caused a huge amount of lost working hours”, World Economic Forum, viewed 13 August 2021, <https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/02/covid-employment-global-job-loss/&gt;.

Kitchen IRL Pitch

My Digital Artefact (DA), Kitchen IRL, was inspired by playing virtual cooking games and my actual cooking activities during COIVD lockdown.
 
Kitchen IRL will provide recipes to turn unhealthy cooking-game food into tasty, nutritional meals.
 
The Australian media has reported an increase in depression in the population since the 2020 Covid restrictions. According to The Guardian Australia, (July 14, 2021), almost 30% of Australians aged between 18-34 experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress in June 2021, compared with 18% aged 35-64, and 10% in those older than 65. Cooking improves mental health. (Jha, 2021.) Kitchen IRL will help the audience fulfil their emotional, nurturing needs and increase their memory. 
 
Due to restrictions on outdoor and/or social/cultural pursuits, many younger people have discovered cooking. As 40% of digital gamers are aged 18-34, many are part of this recent, expanded cooking demographic and might enjoy the unique combination of modified gaming recipes and real-life cooking experience that Kitchen IRL will provide. 
 
After surveying 1,006 parents in 2018, Kids News, (October 28, 2018), found that 45.7% of teenagers aged 12 – 18 could not follow a recipe. This demographic often plays cooking simulation games but rarely cooks in real life. Kitchen IRL can show this target audience that cooking is fun while improving their culinary education and lifestyle skills. 
 
According to HealthStats NSW, in 2002, 53% of adult males and 39% of adult females were overweight or obese.  In 2019, this had increased where 59% of adult males and 53% of adult females were overweight or obese. Kitchen IRL will communicate modified digital game recipes designed for better nutrition and weight loss. Unlike the games, accurate ingredient measurement and preparation methods will be developed and provided. 
 
So, get into Kitchen IRL – get into the kitchen – and get cooking!

References:
Jha, M 2021, ‘Psychological Benefits of Cooking: Cook, Not Just for Taste Buds’, Calmsage, 21 May, viewed 15 August 2021, <https://www.calmsage.com/psychological-benefits-of-cooking/&gt;
 
Martin, S 2021, ‘Covid’s mental health toll: one in five Australians report high levels of psychological distress’, The Guardian, 14 July, viewed 16 August 2021, <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/14/covids-mental-health-toll-one-in-five-australians-report-high-levels-of-psychological-distress&gt;
 
Scarr, L 2018, ‘Teenage kids need to learn how to cook to keep themselves healthy’, KidsNews, 28 October, viewed 16 August 2021, <https://www.kidsnews.com.au/health/teenage-kids-need-to-learn-how-to-cook-to-keep-themselves-healthy/news-story/a286f8a04fbe5b3f2150193067182c85&gt;.
 
Yanev, V 2021, ‘Video Game Demographics – Who Plays Games in 2021’, Techjury, weblog post, 5 August, viewed 16 August 2021, <https://techjury.net/blog/video-game-demographics/#gref&gt;.

Critical Self Reflection – Week 5 BP

I contributed specific, fairly detailed feedback on the delivery mode of, (predominantly), my peers’ videos and also their blogs, which I believe my peers would have found valuable and will hopefully enable them to make improvements in their future posts. 

I commented briefly on the understandability of the analytical frameworks and made a few recommendations for changes and inclusions based on the lecture notes, like improving Gantt Charts and Feedback Loops where necessary. I was remiss in that I provided no suggestions for further research, which I will remedy in future.

While giving feedback on my peers’ pitch videos, I learned the importance of assessing audio-visual information, in order to make recommendations for future improvements and to help promote their audiences’ understanding. 

I applied the criteria below to evaluate the visuals: 

  • Were the images on the screen relevant / complementary to the spoken information? Were they distracting? 
  • Were there too few images? Too many? 
  • Were there too many words on the screen? Too few?
  • Was the print style, colour and size readable?

Regarding the audio I considered:

  • Was the voice-over easy to understand? Spoken too fast or too slow?
  • Was the voice audible and expressive. Did it communicate interest? 
  • Did the voice have a comfortable listening pitch?

The success of the presentation’s delivery is based upon good planning too. I considered that the information should be complete and correct. This includes spelling, grammar and sentence structure. The video should also be clear, (understandable on the first viewing), and concise, (the information should be presented in the required timeframe with full meaning apparent).

I decided that I should be diplomatic and empathise with my fellow students when giving feedback. How would I want to be evaluated? I decided the best approach would be to praise their work before I gave any constructive criticism. 

When I was giving the actual criticism, I used my words and expressions diplomatically. I also signed off with a positive statement about looking forward to seeing more of their work in the future.

I think this ‘respect treatment’ in giving feedback, bodes well for its incorporation into any future work. My peers are less likely to feel insulted and thus rejecting of the comments. If they were insulted, I would have to listen to their feedback regarding this and re-evaluate/redesign my approach.

To be more engaging regarding feedback in the future, I also need to provide information on those areas that I neglected this time, like recommendations for further research.  

I learned from evaluating my peers’ work that the strength of my pitch video is its presentation regarding the use of audio-visual support materials. A critical look at my peers’ works also made me realise my pitch’s weakness is the brief treatment of any research and linkage to the lecture notes; and that my pitch’s analytical framework needs development and inclusion. 

I also learned from my peers that there are other platforms upon which to effectively communicate my pitch, such as PowerPoints or Prezi.

I hope they learned something valuable from me, as I certainly learned from them.

My comment to Georgie: https://georgieobriendotcom.wordpress.com/2021/08/20/nostalgia-in-video-games-bcm215-pitch/
My comments to Jessica: https://jessajenkinsblog.wordpress.com/2021/08/19/fishy-business/
My comments to Melissa: https://blogbymell.wordpress.com/2021/08/20/candy-crush-mums-da-pitch/

2 thoughts on “BCM 215

  1. Hi Adrian! I think this is a great idea! I like the way you have included a podcast in your pitch video, it allows the reader to see what you are going to produce. The way you have formatted your post is very clear and concise. Your video is also very eye catching with images that match what is being said. The sources you have linked seem to be very useful for your topic. The only note I have for you is to have a think about what your analytical frame is, and implement it for the beta. It will help you with your research process. Otherwise I think your pitch is very good and I am excited to see how your project goes.

    Like

  2. Hi! I was a little confused as to which post was your actual pitch, the use of categories or something on your blog might help your audience to navigate through your posts a little easier. I liked how creative and detailed your video was and how you are planning an inclusive DA Project. I also think it is incredibly relevant how you have included COVID-19 in your post and isolation. I do enjoy all the statistics that you have placed in your post although I think maybe you could have provided a visual image or something to show a detailed explanation of the timeline of your project. I’m excited to see this project develop!

    Like

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